Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News

  1. Freedom Writers 2007 Freedom Writers gradually finds its place in the cinematic classroom, telling a moving story and boasting a fine performance from Hilary Swank.
  2. Year of the Dog 2007 Year of the Dog has a sweetly off-kilter quality about it, and it also lays claim to an additional virtue: It probably won't remind you of every other dog movie you've ever seen.
  3. Akeelah and the Bee 2006 The plot of Akeelah and the Bee may feel a trifle familiar, but here's the surprise: This is one time when familiarity doesn't breed contempt.
  4. Failure to Launch 2006 The only thing I rooted for in Failure To Launch was for Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker -- the two leads -- to find better movies.
  5. Flyboys 2006 This cornball effort pales in comparison with the best World War I dramas. Flyboys doesn't feel particularly realistic, nor is it especially entertaining.
  6. Jesus Camp 2006 The overlap of politics and religion is precisely what gives the film an interest beyond the curious practices with which some parents raise their children.
  7. United 93 2006 Others have attempted to tell us about Flight 93, but Greengrass may have made the definitive account, allowing his movie to unfold in real time.
  8. The Wind That Shakes the Barley 2006 [Loach] has made an often handsome, always sobering movie that does what the best movies do: leave us a whole lot less sure about what we ought to think.
  9. 49 Up 2005 I won't bother you with all the particulars because that would steal the film's thunder. Know, though, that Apted includes enough footage from previous films to remind us of details we may have forgotten.
  10. Brokeback Mountain 2005 The movie has a universal quality because it tells a story of unfulfilled lives and roots it in the well-observed specifics of a vanishing Western culture.
  11. Broken Flowers 2005 Hold on to your hats. Jim Jarmusch, a director who always marches to his own strange drumbeat, has made an entertaining movie.
  12. Capote 2005 Capote might be the best movie ever made about the complex relationship between a serious writer and a vulnerable, though not guiltless, subject.
  13. Casanova 2005 Aside from having little to say, the new edition of Casanova tries so hard to serve a crowd-pleasing buffet that it turns into a scattershot series of unrewarding nibbles.
  14. Free Zone 2005 The movie -- a metaphor for the tangled, impossible state of Israeli/Palestinian relations -- only intermittently clicks.
  15. Neil Young: Heart of Gold 2005 One of the new year's most satisfying films. full review
  16. Old Joy 2005 You may find yourself asking whether anything's going to happen. But for those who can tolerate a slow-brewing movie, [director] Reichardt's work provides sufficient rewards.
  17. The Producers 2005 On film, Lane and Broderick are stuck in manic overdrive, like a couple of guys who have been assigned the impossible task of reviving vaudeville.
  18. Prozac Nation 2005 Ninety-eight minutes of this movie and you may find yourself reaching for Prozac or the antidepressant of your choice. A cheap shot, to be sure, but the movie earns it.
  19. Serenity 2005 The movie runs on the fuel of sly intelligence, not to mention a healthy skepticism about mankind's ability to achieve anything that might be called progress.
  20. The World's Fastest Indian 2005 Judging by the movie, you might admire Munro's achievement but probably wouldn't have wanted him for a neighbor.
  21. 13 Going on 30 2004 No question: 13 Going on 30 could have aimed higher, but it hits the target at which it carefully points.
  22. Downfall (Der Untergang) 2004 A figure as large and infamous as Hitler creates a certain amount of inevitable fascination, and Downfall definitely benefits from such curiosity.
  23. Dust to Glory 2004 I can't say Dust to Glory... qualifies as a great documentary, but it chronicles an event that speaks to the raw instinct to face a challenge and conquer it.
  24. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room 2004 Working in a slick, high-gloss style, director Alex Gibney presents the lurid Enron essentials in a film that will have you shaking your head in disbelief and dismay.
  25. The Final Cut 2004 Another dud of a movie that springs from an intriguing premise.
  26. Hotel Rwanda 2004 A story so powerful it can't help but speak to both the heart and the conscience.
  27. Little Black Book 2004 Shrill and prone to annoying overstatement, Murphy poses the first of many problems with Little Black Book, a lame attempt to meld comedy, romance and satire.
  28. Me and You and Everyone We Know 2004 Director Miranda July just might be the year's most exciting film discovery.
  29. Mean Girls 2004 Waters tries for a tone that mixes dark humor and emotional realism, and he often finds it.
  30. The Passion of the Christ 2004 Gibson makes many of the key scenes work.
  31. American Wedding 2003 Funny when it needs to be. I don't know what more you can ask from the third installment of a series that has gone further than anyone reasonably could have expected.
  32. The Battle of Shaker Heights 2003 Cinematic mush.
  33. Beyond Borders 2003 Despite all its grisly sights, the most disturbing thing about Beyond Borders is the magnitude of its miscalculation. In this movie, the world's a stage for ill-fated romance, and famine and war aren't much more than props.
  34. Brother Bear 2003 The name may be Disney, but the result falls short of a classic.
  35. Bulletproof Monk 2003 The movie mixes dull dialogue, martial arts wire work and half-baked approximations of Eastern philosophy, some shallow enough to make the average fortune cookie seem profound.
  36. Camp 2003 The kids have energy to burn, and you can't help but marvel at the polish they bring to a variety of numbers from a variety of musicals.
  37. Daddy Day Care 2003 Daddy Day Care may communicate with kids, too, but it should have spent a little more time communing with the comedy gods.
  38. Dirty Pretty Things 2003 Quietly mesmerizing and emotionally satisfying.
  39. A League of Ordinary Gentlemen 2003 Manages to be funny, sad and as informative as you'd want any movie about bowling to be.
  40. Mona Lisa Smile 2003 A true rarity, an often-dumb movie about supposedly smart people.
  41. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl 2003 An overstated, unashamedly silly summer adventure.
  42. Radio 2003 Please, Hollywood, no more inspiration, particularly if it feels about as authentic as canned laughter.
  43. Something's Gotta Give 2003 In a rare -- if not entirely convincing -- bow to older audiences, Something's Gotta Give teams Nicholson with Diane Keaton in a romantic comedy that's funnier than it is trenchant.
  44. The Station Agent 2003 A small, smart movie that goes a long way toward making a lasting and tender impression.
  45. Swimming Pool 2003 Deftly mixing eroticism, psychology and art, Ozon has made a provocative movie while adding another stunning performance to Rampling's collection.
  46. Tokyo Godfathers 2003 I found myself alternately puzzled and transported by this unusual helping of anime.
  47. Assassination Tango 2002
  48. Bukowski: Born into This 2002 Provides an overview of Bukowski's work and allows us to gaze into the soul of a man who built a fortress of toughness around his vulnerable core.
  49. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind 2002 Clooney makes a sharply entertaining directorial debut.
  50. The Dancer Upstairs 2002 Bardem's performance lingers in ways that give the movie resonance.
  51. The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys 2002
  52. The Hours 2002 The acting, for the most part, is terrific, although the actors must struggle with the fact that they're playing characters who sometimes feel more like literary conceits than flesh-and-blood humans.
  53. The Importance of Being Earnest 2002
  54. Irreversible 2002 There's less to Irreversible than meets even the most unblinking of eyes.
  55. Maid in Manhattan 2002 Doesn't get the job done, running off the limited chemistry created by Ralph Fiennes and Jennifer Lopez.
  56. Men in Black II 2002 A mixed bag of a comedy that can't really be described as out of this world.
  57. Morvern Callar 2002 Appealing? Not exactly. But Morvern Callar ... is a strange and evocative work that's not easy to dismiss.
  58. Narc 2002 See this one for acting and atmosphere.
  59. The Pianist 2002 If The Pianist isn't great, it has touches of greatness in it.
  60. Punch-Drunk Love 2002 The journey toward redemption feels more like a cinematic experiment than a full-blown movie.
  61. Roger Dodger 2002 Watching Roger at work isn't always pleasant, but it's one of the year's most mesmerizing sights.
  62. Russian Ark 2002 Might well be the first real masterpiece of the 21st Century.
  63. Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams 2002 There's enough here to keep the sequel rocking, providing you can leave the adult in you at the door.
  64. Star Trek - Nemesis 2002 Too much of Nemesis has a tired, talky feel.
  65. The Sum of All Fears 2002
  66. Super Troopers 2002
  67. The Sweetest Thing 2002
  68. Black Hawk Down 2001
  69. Amelie 2001
  70. The Animal 2001
  71. Baran 2001
  72. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2001 full review
  73. The Glass House 2001
  74. The Wash 2001
  75. 28 Days 2000 full review
  76. The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle 2000 full review
  77. All the Pretty Horses 2000 full review
  78. The Emperor's New Groove 2000
  79. The Golden Bowl 2000
  80. The Man Who Cried 2000
  81. Mission: Impossible 2 2000 full review
  82. The Original Kings of Comedy 2000 full review
  83. Our Song 2000
  84. Shaft 2000 full review
  85. Traffic 2000
  86. Vatel 2000
  87. Vertical Limit 2000 An overblown and predictable melodrama.
  88. The Yards 2000
  89. But I'm A Cheerleader 1999 full review
  90. East Is East 1998 full review
  91. Velvet Goldmine 1998
  92. Minnie and Moskowitz 1971
  93. Gojira 1954 Honda may not have created the most convincing-looking monster in cinema history, but he managed to give his sci-fi/horror movie a social relevance, particularly in postwar Japan.

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